The Red Cross says some Canterbury people are finding relief in the decision to condemn their house - at least it ends days of uncertainty.
City council structural engineers are going from house to house in the most affected areas of the eastern suburbs, posting red, yellow and green notices according to the level of damage.
Welfare teams, including Red Cross volunteers, follow the engineers offering assistance to residents, checking that they are equipped to remain or helping them make plans to leave.
The Red Cross's Canterbury area manager, Carol Ball, says the process is stressful for many but for others the official decision ends days of uncertainty.
Ms Ball says housing problems are likely to continue for months in the most affected areas.